Brixton prison guards' uniforms smell of cannabis, says report

Watchdog calls for 'more searches of all types in future'

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The Independent Online

Staff uniforms at a south London prison stink of cannabis because prisoners smoke so much of it, according to a report from the official prisons watchdog.

The prison’s independent monitoring board called for “more searches of all types in future”, including of prison workers.

The prison has been criticised before. A similar report from the same body last year said inmates were being “woefully under-provided” with education and training to prepare them for the outside world.

The new report said easy access to drugs was a “major concern” at the institution, contributing to “gambling, indebtedness, bullying and intimidation."

It also blames staff shortages for a lack of tests on prisoners suspected of using drugs. And it goes on: “Cannabis was sometimes being smoked so much on A and B wings that officers’ and monitoring board members’ clothes smelt of it.”

A Prison Service spokesman told The Evening Standard that the use of drugs was taken “very seriously” and that “swift action” had been taken to tackle the prison's problems.

He added:  “The number of prisoners testing positive for drug misuse has fallen. Offenders are well aware that anyone caught with prohibited items will face swift and robust punishment.”